Tsitsipas Sets Murray Meeting In Stuttgart
The top seed, who lost to Frances Tiafoe in his only match last year on the surface at Wimbledon, quickly found his range at the ATP 250 event, firing his forehand through the court in a rain-disrupted match to triumph against the #NextGenATP star after 72 minutes.
“I could work a little bit on the percentage of the first serve, which could be higher. Otherwise I was very involved with my footwork,” Tsitsipas said. “Being very active on the first ball on the serve, pushing my opponent back. It was a good match.”
Tsitsipas has now recorded a Tour-leading 35 victories this season, highlighted by his run to the title at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters in April. His last win on grass prior to his victory over Stricker came against Frenchman Jeremy Chardy at the Cinch Championships in June 2019.
The Greek wild card is making his debut in Stuttgart and will next play former World No. 1 Andy Murray. It will be the second ATP Head2Head meeting between the pair, with Tsitsipas running out a winner in five sets at the US Open in 2021.
Tsitsipas reached finals in Rotterdam and Rome earlier this season, but arrived at the grass-court tournament in Germany off the back of a disappointing fourth-round exit at Roland Garros.
Stricker, who defeated Maxime Cressy in the first round, was facing a Top 10 opponent for the first time in his career. The 19-year-old won an ATP Challenger Tour title in Cleveland in February.
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“He is a hell of a player. He is the World No. 25 for a reason and he has beaten some great opponents, so I knew he is dangerous,” Kyrgios said in his on-court interview. “When he gets in his groove he is hard to get out of. I am just really happy with the way I competed.”
The 27-year-old, who reached the semi-finals in Germany in 2018, fired 20 aces and won 83 per cent (49/59) of his first-serve points to set a meeting with Marton Fucsovics after the Hungarian edged third seed Hubert Hurkacz 7-5, 6-7(9), 6-3.